Friday, April 20, 2007

Where's My Jetpack? The Book by Someone Else

Daniel Wilson and I share the same initials, and we share the same thoughts on the future we were promised; the one that never arrived. His book shares the name of this blog. That book just arrived in the mail. Its chapter titles could've been lifted from the lyrics of the song of the same name. It's printed on what seems to be 100 lb. glossy cardstock, with illustrations by Richard Horne of East London. I'll thumb through it and it shouldn't take long. Chapters are broken down into inventions that never really happened, starting with the jetpack. It is categorized under "humor," so I'm hoping for a couple of chuckles for my $14.95.

Mr. Wilson once contacted me, trying to get me to part with the domain Where's My Jetpack? Not happening. I suggested WhereISMyJetpack.com and he snapped it up. Mr. Wilson is a columnist for Popular Mechanics and earned a Ph.D. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. He authored another book that Mike Myers optioned the movie rights for, How to Survive a Robot Uprising. So, he's much smarter than me and he's been published. You might like his book.

This is the extent of my promotion of Mr. Wilson's book. He's presently on a book tour in the Pacific Northwest. I'm counting on him to make the phrase Where's My Jetpack? even more popular, preparing the way for me. Thanks, Daniel, and good luck. I hope you makes tons of money. Don't waste it on Rush albums, though.

For me, the phrase has always been about more than just inventions that didn't happen. The name of the blog is really tongue in cheek and does not speak to jetpacks alone. "Jetpack" is just a symbol for all the awesome goodness we were promised as children; a glorious future of peace and wealth and universal brotherhood, no death or sickness or strife. Heaven on Earth! (And sold to us by people like you and me - advertisers and marketers - with help from Disney, the government and Ray Bradbury.)

But that Utopian dream ain't happening anytime soon. Too many haters out there bent on destruction: Al Qaeda , Cho Seung-Hui, Alec Baldwin Kim Basinger and all the rest.

So, in that sense, it's hardcore cynicism, but I'll still be the first one in line when WalMart is selling cheap, reliable jetpacks.

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